food allergens

Hives (Urticaria)

What Are Hives?

Hives, also known as urticaria, is a condition where the skin becomes inflamed, swollen, and itchy (pruritic). Hives can be caused by a number of triggers, both food or environmental, which results in the release of histamine by the body’s immune system. Hives is a condition affecting the superficial layers of the skin, when the deeper layers of the skin are involved the condition is referred to as angioedema.

Subsets of Hives (Urticaria)

Acute Urticaria
Typically caused by initial contact with a trigger. Common triggers include foods, medications, environmental allergens, insect bites, exercise, and heat. Acute urticaria resolves within 6-weeks.

Chronic Uriticaria
When acute urticaria persists for several months, it becomes classified as chronic urticaria.

Hives Testing

At Allergy, Asthma & Sinus Associates our board certified physician and highly trained staff have years of experience in diagnosing both pediatric and adult cases of hives. Since hives may be associated with several other conditions, each patient receives a comprehensive examination followed by any additional testing that would help devise a treatment plan. Additional tests can include skin testing and/or blood testing for environmental/food/drug sensitivities.

Hives Treatment

Since hives are caused by excessive histamine release, the use of anti-histamine medications/creams can often times help manage the symptoms. However since there are so many possible triggers, successful long-term control of symptoms requires proper identification of triggers followed by trigger avoidance. Many individuals affected by hives benefit from allergen immunotherapy treatment. As your board certified physician today if allergen immunotherapy is right for you.